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Western Digital P10 Review

A sleek looking HDD with optimal compatibility and great performance across the board
Western Digital P10
Credit: Amazon
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:   $90 List | $104.70 at Amazon
Pros:  Widely compatible, pleasing look, powered by USB
Cons:  Other models offer more memory, no impact certification, so-so speeds
Manufacturer:   Western Digital
By Ross Patton ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jul 7, 2022
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51
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#4 of 12
  • Read/Write Performance - 60% 3.2
  • Portability - 10% 7.0
  • Convenience - 30% 8.1

Our Verdict

The Western Digital P10 showed solid performance all across the board during our assessment. This HDD shows similar read and write speeds to the top-performing hard disk drives in our review. It's also compatible with Mac OS, Windows, and gaming consoles right out of the box, and it looks great. It is reasonably compact and it's solely powered by its USB cable so it travels well. We'd recommend this model to anyone looking for an HDD short of a large desktop version.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Western Digital P10
Awards Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award   
Price $90 List
$104.70 at Amazon
$59 List
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$80 List
$65.69 at Amazon
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Widely compatible, pleasing look, powered by USBBudget-friendly, straightforwardAffordable, compact for HDD, highly compatibleComes in several colors, up to 5 TB availableAffordable, decent read and write speeds for HDD, works with Android
Cons Other models offer more memory, no impact certification, so-so speedsOddly slow on Mac OS, limited storage capacity options, rare cable type, heavy for its sizeNot the fastest read and write speed, other models offer higher capacity, rare cable typeSlow read/write speed for today's standards, must be formatted between operating systemsRequires formatting for switching OS, no USB C cable
Bottom Line A sleek looking HDD with optimal compatibility and great performance across the boardSimple, lightweight and portable SSD with a great price per GB of storageAn admirable external HDD that's pint sized, performs okay, and is economicalA mediocre-looking model that offers mediocre performance at a mediocre priceA lightweight, simple and well priced SSD that seems a little cheaper than other options at its price point
Rating Categories Western Digital P10 Toshiba Canvio Basics Western Digital Ele... WD My Passport Port... Seagate Portable
Read/Write Performance (60%)
3.2
3.3
3.3
3.3
3.3
Portability (10%)
7.0
7.7
7.0
7.7
6.3
Convenience (30%)
8.1
5.1
5.3
5.2
5.2
Specs Western Digital P10 Toshiba Canvio Basics Western Digital Ele... WD My Passport Port... Seagate Portable
Measured Max Speed in MB/sec 135.84 MB/s 145.03 MB/s 124.36 MB/s 125.11 MB/s 142.63 MB/s
Measured Max Drag and Drop 100.00 MB/s 142.86 MB/s 113.64 MB/s 125.00 MB/s 111.10 MB/s
Drive Type HDD HDD HDD HDD HDD
Compatibility Windows and MacOS. Bonus: Playstation 4/4Pro & 5. Xbox One & Series X|S. Works with Android (tested on Note 10+) Windows and MacOS. Bonus: Works with Android (tested on Note 10+) Windows and MacOS. Bonus: Works with Android (tested on Note 10+) Windows and MacOS. Bonus: Works with Android (tested on Note 10+) Windows and MacOS. Bonus: Works with Android (tested on Note 10+)
Size 4.64" x 3.46" x 0.48" 4.27 x 3.06" x 0.55" 4.34" x 3.22" x 0.59" 4.21" x 2.94" x 0.43" 4.61" x 3.15" x 0.57"
Volume 7.71 cu.in. 7.19 cu.in. 8.25 cu.in. 5.32 cu.in. 8.28 cu.in.
Weight 4.97 oz 5.10 oz 4.71 oz 4.22 oz 4.61 oz
Storage Size Tested 2 TB 2 TB 2 TB 2 TB 2 TB
Storage Options 2TB, 4TB, 5TB 1TB, 2TB, 4TB 1TB, 2TB, 3TB, 4TB, 5TB 1TB, 2TB, 4TB, 5TB 1TB, 2TB, 4TB, 5TB

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Western Digital P10 is a perfect display of what WD has come to be known for — a quality piece of equipment that takes every detail into account. Geared toward gamers, the P10 has a sleek metal plating that adds a dash of style to any console cave. One of this drive's best attributes is that it works seamlessly with all major operating systems.

Performance Comparison


Western Digital P10 external hard drive - the wd p10 offers superior performance in the realm of external hdds.
The WD P10 offers superior performance in the realm of external HDDs.
Credit: Laura Casner

Read/Write Performance


Considering that read and write speeds are the primary purchasing factor for most tech enthusiasts, we decided that metric should constitute 60% of our total score. To gather data for this section, we used AmorphousDeskMark test software to measure Mac OS's speed and CrystalDiskMark test software for Windows. We then conducted a manually timed drag and drop file transfer using three different size files for both operating systems.

The key difference between the two types of drives is that HDDs (hard disk drives) are mechanical devices containing a spinning disk and a reader inside while SSDs (solid-state drives) use flash memory and have no moving parts. HDDs are inherently much slower than SSDs. HDDs, however, offer much larger memory capacities and are substantially more affordable. When deciding which type of drive to purchase, keep this trade-off in mind.


The WD P10 is slightly slower than average compared to the other HDDs in our review. While using Mac OS, this model was able to write sequential files at an average rate of 127 MB per second and random data files at an average rate of 0.4 MB per second.

Western Digital P10 external hard drive - the wd p10 showed fantastic results during our read/write assessment.
The WD P10 showed fantastic results during our read/write assessment.
Credit: Matt Spencer

When we switched to Windows, the WD P10 wrote sequential files at a noticeably faster rate of 133 MB per second and random data files at a rate of 0.5 MB per second.

Western Digital P10 external hard drive - our team crunched a whole lot of data to ensure our readers are...
Our team crunched a whole lot of data to ensure our readers are getting the best advice possible.
Credit: Ross Patton

For the second part of this metric, we manually timed how long the drives took to transfer 1GB, 5GB, and 10GB files. These time trials were performed for both Windows and Mac OS. For Windows, the WD P10 transferred a 1GB file in 10 seconds, a 5GB file in 55 seconds, and a 10GB file in 113 seconds for an average rate of 93 MB per second. When we transferred the duplicate files on a Mac, the 1GB time tied Windows at 10 seconds while the 5GB and 10GB files transferred at 62 seconds and 120 seconds, respectively. The average MB per second transfer rate for the P10 using Mac OS fell to 86.

Western Digital P10 external hard drive - the wd p10 transfers files at a rapid rate in comparison to other...
The WD P10 transfers files at a rapid rate in comparison to other external HDDs.
Credit: Laura Casner

Convenience


In the age of information and the perpetual advancements in the tech behind products such as external hard drives, nobody wants to be bogged down by extra steps while trying to perform a task or achieve a goal. When we invest in a product such as this, we expect it to work seamlessly with our current hardware and be as easy to use as possible. Accounting for the next 30% of our final score, we looked closely at attributes that add or detract from each drive's overall convenience. We considered manufacturers' warranties, each model's compatibility across several hardware platforms, the types of connections they have, and the setup process for each drive.


All in all, our team determined that the WD P10 is a very convenient piece of equipment to use. Its compatibility is top-notch — it works with Windows, Mac OS, gaming consoles, and Android devices. There is no formatting required to seamlessly interchange use on any of the aforementioned operating systems. It has a three-year warranty to put your mind at ease while storing your most precious files. The P10 does not have many options for storage capacity. The minimum memory offered for this version is 2TB, and the maximum is 5TB. We also deducted a few points because the included cable has a limited interface. The drive side of the cable is a Micro-B port which is a less common type than USB C or USB A. Also, the output side of the cable is USB A only. Many modern computers, such as the newer MacBook Pro, only have a USB C port, so you'll need a hub or an adapter if you own this computer and decide to purchase this drive.

Western Digital P10 external hard drive - the p10 is ready to plug into just about any modern computer or...
The P10 is ready to plug into just about any modern computer or gaming console directly out of the package with no formatting necessary, but you may need a cable adapter.
Credit: Laura Casner

Portability


For the final 10% of our review, we looked at the transportability of each device. If your plan is for your drive to permanently live in your office or next to your gaming console, this characteristic may not be as important to you. If you travel or move often, work remotely, or transport your drive to and from the office, you may put a little more weight into this metric.


The WD P10 is highly transportable. Measuring 4.6" x 3.5 " x .5", it is roughly the size of a wallet. It is entirely powered by USB, so there is no need to haul an AC adapter and extra cord around with it. Our one complaint is with the rigid metal casing on the body. A metal plate might look burly, but it won't do much to protect the moving parts inside from being jarred if the drive is dropped. We'd like to see a rubber coating or an actual shockproof certification rating on a future version, as competing brands have begun to include these details into their drive design. Weighing 141 grams, this is about on par for HDDs with similar physical dimensions and memory capacities, but there are SSD models that weigh less than half of this. If portability and durability are deciding factors for you, we highly recommend reading up on some of the more transportable models in our review.

Western Digital P10 external hard drive - the wd p10 is plenty small enough to slip into your pocket or laptop...
The WD P10 is plenty small enough to slip into your pocket or laptop bag.
Credit: Laura Casner

Value


Considering the overall performance, portability, and aesthetic appeal, the WDP10 is well worth the purchase. In fact, it outperformed several devices with similar specifications that cost more during our assessment.

Conclusion


If you're in the market for an external HDD that looks good, offers excellent performance, is compatible across several operating systems out-of-the-box, and can easily slip into your laptop bag, we highly recommend the Western Digital P10.

Ross Patton

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